The Vice-President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, has told the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to ensure effective and efficient functioning of government companies privatised in the past six months. Sambo gave the charge in Abuja on Thursday at a meeting of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).
He frowned at a situation where about 80 per cent of the privatised companies had become dysfunctional. He noted that the essence of privatisation was to ensure that the companies were working to offer employment to Nigerian youths.
“The reason government is selling these companies is that they should have good management and should be viable to create jobs. The BPE should make sure all the companies sold in the last six months are working properly,” he said. Addressing issues in the transport sector, Sambo decried the way and manner the nation’’s ports were being managed, directing the Minister of Transport to visit ports with a view to addressing challenges at the ports.
The Vice President approved the constitution of a committee to address overlapping issues that might exist between the Infrastructure Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and the BPE. The committee, expected to make recommendations to the council, has its membership drawn from the Ministries of Finance, Justice, Environment, BPE, Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission, CBN and a representative from the Legal Department of the Vice President’’s Office.
Highlights of the council’s meeting included the approval of the financial statement of the BPE for the year ended 2007 and 2008 as presented. It also granted approval in principle for the payment of N2.7 billion negotiated ALSCON staff claims, subject to availability of funds. On the divestiture of the five per cent Federal Government’’s shareholding in Eleme Petrochemicals Company Ltd., the NCP requested that it should be furnished with further details to enable it arrive at a decision.